Saturday, January 31, 2015


I rarely run with music.  Outside, I'm concerned about safety.  I am quite capable of almost getting killed by cars and cyclists even when I don't have music blaring in my ears.  The bigger problem, though is the earbuds.  For some reason, the Apple earbuds fall out very easily, and I've been too cheap to investigate other solutions.  Last week, two things happened to change this.  First, I bought a pair of "in ear" buds that don't fall out, and second, the snow storm kept me trapped on a treadmill all week.  This has allowed me (1) to start catching up on Serial, and (2) to renew my appreciation for the Allman Brothers as workout music.  In particular, Jessica may be the perfect song to run to.  It's seven minutes long, upbeat, and the tempo is quick and steady.   I think I will download an extended live version for good measure.  Ramblin' Man and Melissa are also pretty awesome.  Whipping Post, not so much (too slow) . . .

Monday, January 26, 2015

NOLA half

Turns out I can finish a half marathon more or less untrained and injured.  Probably a bad idea but a lovely weekend.

Matt and I traveled to New Orleans with spouses for a long weekend and a half marathon.  Stayed at the Westin Canal Place which is basically a perfectly fine but soulless hotel in a very fancy shopping mall.  We used frequent flyer and point to keep cost down.  Westin was a race sponsor and a serious promoter of running.  They have a running concierge and not juts for the race, various running groups, and unlimited free Goos and electrolyte tablets for race weekend.  Only complaints were noise from party rooms at end of the hall both nights and the price of the heavily advertised grab and go breakfast for the runners.

Spent Friday and Saturday checking out the Garden District and walking around the French Quarter.  Friday dinner at Emeril's Delmonico was adequate but in no way special.  Saturday dinner at Bayona was superb although Sags split off and head down and dirty fried chicken and red beans rice. 

Also have to recommend EAT in the Quarter and Squeal (BBQ) up by the Tulane campus.

All the food didn't seem to slow Matt down any who finished in a blazing 1:34 PR.

Mr I came in really nervous about my luxating patella and various muscular issues related to that.  Serious chiro and massage got me to the start line and mind over matter took over.  It was 50 and sunny but with a stiff breeze.  We headed out St Charles Avenue for 4 miles to Audubon Park and Loyola New Orleans and then back to downtown, through the French Quarter, north up Esplanade street finishing in Louis Armstrong Park while the marathon itself split off for another 13.1 in some not nondescript areas. 

I sagged a bit in the middle of the race but finished strong.  I didn't even attach the timing loop because I wasn't sure I was going to make.  Recovery is fine, my knee is feeling better than it did and the start of the race.  Only issue is right top foot soreness which is already fading.  In the end it was another WTF race and my first half in my post-marathon era.  I highly recommend travel races and hope we can all hit some in between the actual antitrust marathons.

Various pictures are on Instagram of New Orleans, food and me at the starting line.  Check 'em out and follow me @sweberwaller.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Manhattan Half -- Race Report

Still awaiting word of Spencer's hijinks in New Orleans.  Today was the Manhattan Half.  I signed up months ago, thinking it made sense . . . This morning when I woke up at 5:30 am, I wasn't so sure.  I have run this race twice in its current configuration, January 2012 (heavy snow) and January 2013 (bitter cold).  This time we got lucky.  Saturday was a snowy slushy day, and tomorrow looks to be a blizzard, but today was mid 30s and turned sunny in the middle of the race.  You couldn't really ask for better weather this time of year.  The bigger problem is that I haven't run anything longer than 8 miles since the Marathon, and none of it fast.  My thought was to just do a long training run.  Of course the crowd always puts an end to the "easy run", but I did resist trying to push it faster than the pack.  I pretty much dialed it in at an 8:30 pace, concentrated on form and ran very consistent splits through 9 miles.  I slowed in mile 10 and 11, and then my phone clicked off, so I don't know what happened.  Subjectively, I stayed with traffic.  Objectively, I probably slowed a bit.  The end result was a slow for me, but fast for now half.  Considering it's January, I'm feeling well positioned for a good Spring .

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Freezing Rain

Well, it finally warmed up enough to rain. I went for a run, only to find that the cold temperature yesterday meant that the sidewalks were glare ice.  I learned a physics lesson: concrete freezes before asphalt.  Piers freeze before either.  Descend and corner with care.  I cut my run short, picked up smoked fish and bagels and went home for brunch . . .

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Comparing Winter Training Techniques

My Colleague Matt's more empirical data based training style lends itself to the gym and careful monitoring while my more instinctual "go for it" style leads me to confront the harsh winter and improvise according to the elements.  Check out this albeit crude you tube video of our different techniques.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Cold Weather Running

Spencer surely wins the medal each winter if this is a competition -- hard to do better than the Windy City for opportunity for single-digit runs -- but Indianapolis does its best to keep up.  6 degrees this morning as I crunched north on the Monon Trail to 30th, where I turned west toward downtown and south through the near-in neighborhoods heading back to the condo.  Maybe 7 miles and thankful for warm clothes!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Run With Becky

I was in in DC for the AALS meeting.  On Sunday, Becky made the trek down from Bethesda to meet me for a run through Rock Creek Park.  We met at Connecticut and Calvert and ran into Rock Creek Park.  Then we ran in the back entrance to the Zoo and had the place to ourselves.  I used to do this all the time when I lived in DC.  It' pretty great, you have the place to yourself.  Sunday was a rainy dark morning, so mostly the animals were asleep inside.  Still, a better surface than the Rock Creek bike path which was full of puddles.  This morning a couple of professors and I ran down Rock Creek to the Memorial Bridge and back.  I had forgotten what a nasty hill it is to get from the Parkway back up to Connecticut Ave.  Ouph!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

My dog and I are on the same running meds

Turns out Ginny the Wonder Puppy (now 7 1/2) has the doggie version of the same patellar tracking disorder that has plagued me for several years off and on.  Good to know that Glucosamine is the answer for both species.  Hope hers tastes better than mine.

Streak Complete

Yesterday was New Year's Day, and to celebrate the day, and, for me, the completion of the "streak" a bunch of us went to Coney Island for the Polar Bear Plunge.  Here are the "before" pictures.   Suffice it to say that "after" we dressed quickly. :-)  After I got home, I went for a short run to log the last run of the streak.  Now I have to find a new silly goal . . .